Germany forces Emirates to raise business fares

emiratesairlinesWith the global recession driving the demand for and price of airline fares downwards, there was surprising news from Germany today as the government there has forced Dubai’s Emirates airline to increase the price it is charging for business-class tickets on flights leaving Germany for non-EU destinations.

The Financial Times reports Emirates as saying that the “imminent threat of significant fines” meant it had to increase the price of business-class fares on flights originating from Germany, with some routes seeing prices increase by as much as 20pc.

Emirates described the charges as “anti-consumer” and “commercially nonsensical”, claiming the charges are not being levied on other airlines flying out of Germany and saying that it intends to raise the matter with the European Commission.

The paper reports that Germany’s central transport watchdog, the Federal Office for Goods Transport, wrote to Emirates earlier this week to say the airline was not allowed to “engage in price leadership” on routes leaving Germany for non-EU destinations.

The FT says that a spokesman for the Federal Office for Goods Transport confirmed to it that other airlines had also been asked to raise their prices on non-EU routes, although Andrew Parker, Emirates Senior Vice-President, told the paper that he was unaware of any other airlines being asked to raise their prices.